Many Americans on Sept. 11 paid tribute to the servicemen and women who have fought in the past decade's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This Sunday, the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks will have passed, but U.S. troops will still be overseas. And Golden West College will again be doing its part to assist them when they come home.
The college plans to host its sixth annual Chefs for Scholarships fundraiser, in which nearly three dozen local restaurants, wineries and breweries offer food and beverage samples. This year's theme is "A Tribute to Veterans," and the organizers plan to use part of the proceeds to fund scholarships for returning military personnel.
"It's a very difficult transition from the military, going into society, and we want to help them get their education," said Margie Bunten, director of the Golden West College Foundation. "A lot of the time, they really are full-time students."
Bunten said the event's goal is to raise $30,000 for scholarships and for the Veterans Resource Center, a facility that opened in September 2010 to provide room for meetings, counseling sessions and more.
The Golden West College Patrons, a fundraising wing of the foundation, give out four scholarships to Golden West students and 12 to high school seniors in a typical year, Bunten said.
If enough proceeds come in Sunday, the Patrons hope to fund several new scholarships specifically for veterans.
"The more people we get and so forth, the more scholarship dollars are available," Bunten said.
In addition to cuisine, the event will feature live music from the Gerry Schroeder Jazz Four, a combo led by a Golden West instructor, and the Swing Kittens, a 1930s-style vocal group comprised of alumni from Golden West and Orange Coast colleges.
Among the restaurants slated to take part are the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, the Shorebreak Hotel's Zimzala Restaurant, Endless Food & Fun and Tommy Pastrami, plus several from out of town.
Ellie Ward, owner of Tommy Pastrami, said her restaurant would make its third appearance at Chefs for Scholarships this year. She planned to serve matzo ball soup to show that the restaurant specialized in more than pastrami.
"Hopefully, I'll get some new customers," Ward said. "But the most important thing is that it's for a good cause."
If You Go
What: "Chefs for Scholarships: A Tribute to Veterans"
Where: Student Center, Golden West College, 15744 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $40 for adults; $20 for students with ID; free for student veterans and children 12 and younger
Information: (714) 895-8316 or http://www.chefs4scholarships.com